When I talk about going back to work, I’ve had mixed reactions. One common reaction (tends to be from an older generation – my neighbour, the wee woman in the street etc) is ‘when I had my family, I was lucky enough not to have to work’. Lucky enough? Hmmm I guess it would be awesome to win the lottery, but I’m pretty sure that I would grow tired of doing nothing with my brain or letting my creativity fester. After all, for the last ooooh errr 21+ years I have studied and worked in marketing, and my career is something that I have great pride in and it makes me feel happy and fulfilled.
Just yesterday, Wee C and I went to parent and baby cinema and watched the eagerly anticipated Wonder Woman. I say eagerly anticipated, as being hmmm early forties, I grew up hero worshipping Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. She was my heroine. She was everything I wanted to be, the long dark hair just made my imagination run even wilder, as I pictured myself fighting for love, against evil…at school, at play scheme, at home..
I have dressed up as wonder woman on 3 separate occasions (the first when I was very young and most recent in my late 30’s….who doesn’t LOVE a fancy dress party!?). I have bought jewellery (more accurately bracelets) that I had more than a nod to Wonder Woman’s cuffs. You get the drift..
So what does Wonder Woman have to do with the ‘when I had my family, I was lucky enough not to work’ statement?
You see Wonder Woman stood for everything that I aspired to be. Good, independent, strong and free willed.
As an only child, my amazing mum & dad brought me up to be fiercely independent. I took my first job at 16, passed my driving test 6 months after turning 17 and left home (to go to university) 10 months later. I paid my own way through uni, at my busiest I was working 3 jobs and studying. Since then I’ve worked hard in my chosen career (maybe too hard) and if I wasn’t happy, I made changes. I’ve never asked anyone to do anything for me, all my opportunities I’ve worked hard for and all my chances, I’ve made the very best of them. I am ambitious, I’m generous (to a fault), I’m a bit of a control freak – but ultimately I’ve always been my own woman, mistress of my own destiny.
And these are the qualities that I’d like to instil in Wee C. She can have it all, Col D and I will help her achieve greatness and ensure that she is best equipped with the right foundations for a happy successful and fulfilled life.
So my response to that statement, is ‘I think that I am lucky – lucky that I have a great career, a fantastic company who’ve supported me and I know that I will pass my work ethic onto our daughter. As well as these essential (Wonder Woman) skills:-
- Push yourself – Always do the very best you can do in a job – if you are succeeding, then try to excel.
- Don’t be lazy – if you’re not happy, your destiny is in your hands – you are the only one that can change your future.
- Be considerate but take control – Not everyone will agree with you, take time to listen and consider other people, and do your best to come to mutual agreements. Listen to others, but make your own decisions.
- Don’t be scared – if there’s something you want to say or do, do it! But do it politely and with consideration and sensitivity.
But when I tell Wee C all of this, I will also be telling her about the ‘rescue’.
No matter how independent Wonder Woman/Diana Prince is, she wasn’t able to do it all (save the world, conquer evil etcetc) completely alone. Her greatness was made even greater by her the teaming up of the ‘love interest’. He was there to protect her, encourage her and support her – which then enabled her to conquer all (aka win against the baddie).
On reflection, I’ve been achieving greatness in my career on my own, but as part of a partnership (Col D n me) we are now a Super Team – Team 14 feet of love. Where I am frivolous, ColD is considered and meticulous. Where I am scatty, Col D is a perfectionist. Where I am messy, Col D is….messy too! Haha
It is because of our differences, that we work well. No matter how independent I am, or how organised I am, or how strong I think I am, I still need someone to take care of me (encourage me, support me, love me). Which perhaps goes against all that I’ve fought hard for over the last 21+ years, but it’s true, sometimes even Wonder Woman needs a Super Man(or Supergirl).
So going back to my point, I would consider myself to be pretty blooming lucky. No I haven’t won the lottery, yes I will be returning to work, and yes, I am looking forward to the juggle of being the best mum I can be whilst being the very best marketing professional I can be. And I would hope that when Wee C is older, she will be think of me as her own Wonder Mum, working alongside her own Super Dad Col D and she will be happy with the decisions we have made for our 14 Feet of Love family.